How to Take Care of Your Human Capita?

photo credit: Velaa Private Island

While the hospitality industry has always maintained that their employees are their most valued resource, the simple lack of available and qualified human capital caused by the rapidly growing hospitality industry, as well as quick turnover, is a very real issue for brands to tackle.

So how do you find and retain good employees? On the “hardware” side, it helps to offer attractive packages and living benefits. While in the old days of  the Maldivian hospitality industry less effort was placed on accommodations, staff canteen and recreational facilities, now employees will find staff swimming pools, bars, wifi, libraries and movie rooms, designer uniforms and more. And all this is certainly a step to keeping the best at hand, but there is clearly more involved than material and recreational benefits.

Particularly in the first 90 days, there is often a disconnect in the given reason for turnover. Frontline Hospitality examined the response of employers and employees to learn the most common reason for leaving in those first three months — the response was hardly unanimous! While employers stated the majority of the time they had instigated the employee’s departure, employees most often stated they left for a variety of reasons, including the fact that their job expectations were not met. 

What does that tell us? It most certainly points to miscommunication, or a break down of communication altogether. According to Frontline, clarifying expectations is most certainly worth doing:

“Let’s be blunt, expectations are the employer’s responsibility. After all it is the employer who is paying the money and setting the standard. The contract with the employee is based on meeting these standards, so they must be documented and explained in detail to recruiters and potential employees. The old adage of “NO SHOCKS” when employment commences is a wise mantra to live by, everyone should know what they are expected to do and once employment commences expectations should be reiterated constantly with all staff throughout their period of employment.”

Worldwide brand Marriott abides by their founder’s credo, “Put your employees first and they will take care of your customers,” and in fact, their surveys have found that with growing employee satisfaction scores come higher guest satisfaction scores, as well as repeat business, revenue growth, profits, and solid return on investment.

So how do you put your employees first? How do you bridge the disconnect that causes turnover? Gary Hobbs, in charge of HR at Marriott International, also has that answer — simple though it may seem, it is also a proven success:

“Treating people with dignity and respect and ensuring that your leaders at all levels do that too are all components of a winning culture.” 

Taking this sentiment one step further, hospitality giant Four Seasons, is very clear about their core values:

“Our greatest asset, and the key to our success, is our people. We believe that each of us needs a sense of dignity, pride and satisfaction in what we do. Because satisfying our guests depends on the united efforts of many, we are most effective when we work together cooperatively, respecting each other’s contribution and importance.”

Showing the strength of their convictions, Four Seasons takes that belief in “dignity, pride and satisfaction” and helps make it a reality, via their apprenticeship programme for promising young individuals between 17 and 20. Graduating apprentices aren’t required to work for Fours Seasons; instead, the company sends them off with TVET certificate and the opportunity for rewarding careers both within Four Seasons and other brands.

With the very real issue of finding and retaining quality employees in this fast-growing industry, particularly in hospitality hubs such as Las Vegas, Phuket, and the Maldives, all these actions and more are key tools to creating — and keeping — talented employees who are dedicated to building your brand, rather than simply working for it!


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